RSVP: How Strict Should You Be?

    The RSVP date and list is one of the most frustrating parts of planning a party. It's crucial that you know exactly how many people you'll be having at your party so that you can order seating, food, and party favors for the right amount of people, but you can't rush the RSVP because you don't want your guests to be flustered. Here are some tips on how strict you should be with your RSVP for your next party.

    Plan Ahead. If you get your party invitations out early, your guests are more likely to RSVP early and get your party on their calendar. Send out your invitations as soon as you can so that you can receive feedback quickly.

    Be smart with your RSVP date. If you need to tell your catering company and party venue your exact number by the 30th of the month, tell your guests that you need to know their RSVP status by the 20th. Always make your RSVP date earlier than you really need it, because it's more than likely that your guests will wait until the last minute or even later!

    What if they don't respond by the date provided? Give them a few days after your RSVP date, because we all have other things to do and simple RSVP responses might go right over our heads. However, if they don't respond 3 days after the date that you provide, give them a call or shoot them an e-mail. If you don't feel comfortable calling or e-mailing, or if they don't respond to your outreach, consider their response a "no." Hey, at least you tried!

    It's always a good idea to include a few extra numbers for your catering company and venue. You never know if people might change their RSVPs, and if it's in your budget you should leave room for changes in the guest list.

    What if they ask to bring a date? This is completely up to you. If it's a private corporate event for executives only, you have to make the decision if you want extra people that are unaffiliated with the company. On your RSVP, you should include if "plus one's" are allowed, so that there is no last minute confusion.

    What have you learned about RSVPs in your party planning? Let us know in a comment below, or on Facebook or Twitter!